BALTIMORE (WJZ)—More shopping downtown. Four big name retailers are slated to open this year in Harbor East, giving shoppers more reason to stay in the city.
Andrea Fujii tells us what's coming in.
Both customers and employees at South Moon Under in Harbor East look forward to more retail stores in the area.
"It'll make Harbor East a more destination shopping area, and I think it'll bring more foot traffic into our store which is great," said Kate Duvall, store manager.
This summer Anthropologie, J.Crew, MAC Cosmetics and Lululemon Athletica are slated to open.
Anthropologie will open at the bottom of the Four Seasons. J. Crew is in the Legg Mason tower. MAC will be at the corner of Exeter and Aliceanna streets and Lululemon is near the Harbor East roundabout.
"The more stores, the less you gotta drive to the mall," said Kenny Purnell, downtown shopper.
And that's exactly what the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore is hoping.
"This is going to appeal to residents who continue to move in. But not just the residents, employees and tourists," said Kirby Fowler, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.
Fowler says downtown is the fastest growing neighborhood in the city.
Last year alone 11 major retailers and restaurants opened in downtown including H&M at the Inner Harbor.
According to the Downtown Partnership less than six percent of retail space was vacant last year--compared to the Baltimore metro area at 6.6 percent. It's significantly lower than the national average at close to 10 percent.
As major retailers discover Baltimore, "I see a lot of potential here at Harbor East," said one customer.
Retail sales downtown totaled $928 million last year and experts expect that number to only go up for 2012.
Several unnamed big restaurants, local boutiques and condominiums are also expected to open this summer in Harbor East.
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